HEY !!! CHECK OUT THIS GREAT POST ME AND MY FABULOUS TEAM OF DOULAS AT THE INTEGRATIVE BIRTH COLLECTIVE DID FOR ELIZABETH STREET ON ALL THINGS DOULAS !!
Why a Birthing Doula Might Be Right For You
Even though doulas have been around forever, mainstream is catching onto the benefits of having these experienced birth coaches by your side to guide, nurture and support moms-about-to-be throughout the entire birthing process. We asked the hip and fabulous doulas from the L.A.-based Integrative Birth Collective a few questions to give us the 411 on all things doulas.
Elizabeth Street: What are typical duties of a doula?
Integrated Birth Collective: Doulas help you birth your baby at home, birthing centers, in hospitals, naturally (with no pain medication), or with an epidural (even if you have a C-section). A doula can help wherever or however you choose to have your baby.
We aim to be by your side for the whole process, and support whatever choices you choose to make, in a non-judgemental way. Often, we’re there to create a sacred, safe, peaceful space with candles, aromatherapy, and soothing music to give you tons of encouragement along the way.
In addition, a doula helps put you in birthing positions that are good for optimal fetal positioning, often using tools like massages, visualizations, meditations, and breath work to help with pain management and comfort. Most importantly, we advocate for the mother and her partner.
ES: How does a doula help after delivery?
IBC: A postpartum doula will provide breastfeeding support and help out around the house in a number of ways, and generally nurture and care for the new mom.
Doulas are not medical professionals and don’t preform medical exams, nor diagnose conditions or deliver babies. A doula should also not project their views onto you, judge you or make you feel bad for the choices and decisions that you make.
ES: What are the proven benefits to having a doula?
IBC: For one, there are less incidences of women needing C-sections when a doula is by her side. We also reduce the need for any meds and epidurals, while shortening the time of labor. And there are psychological benefits, like less anxiety and more confidence for the mother.
ES: What should someone look for when hiring a doula?
IBC: Resonance: You need to be on the same page. It’s important that she’s knowledgeable about and supportive of your birth goals. Experience: How many births has she attended? Expertise: Does she have a clear grasp of the birth process? How does she plan to help you during your pregnancy and when labor starts? Flexibility: How often will you meet? What happens if you and another client go into labor on the same day? Comfort: You should feel at ease when you first meet, and trust your instincts. If she makes you smile, there’s a good chance you’ll be smiling in the delivery room.
ES: Tell me about the Integrative Birth Collective, and how you work.
IBC: We are a collective of passionate, progressive, and experienced doulas who believe that—with the right support—your pregnancy and birth can be an enlivening transition that allows for deep introspection, transformation, and healing.
We serve all cities within the County of Los Angeles, and are available for telephone or virtual consultations as well as interstate or international travel.
Although we all work independently, we do provide coverage for one another in the case of concurrent births. Each one of us proposes our own individual doula packages depending on our own unique expertise.
By Gaia Guidi Filippi